Guernsey Press

Trott – up to 700 new homes to be built over next three years

UP TO 700 new homes will be built in Guernsey over the next three years, a bullish Policy & Resources president has said.

President of Policy & Resources Deputy Lyndon Trott. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33224518)

This compares to just 94 housing units created last year – less than a third of the annual average needed to meet existing known demand.

Lyndon Trott told students and business leaders at a lunch meeting hosted by Gpeg that he was increasingly optimistic about accelerating house-building before the end of the States term in June next year.

‘I can stand here today and look you in the eye and say I’m confident that three years from now there will be 600 to 700 new homes in Guernsey,’ said Deputy Trott.

‘That will go a long way to meeting the target, which we believe is 800 or 900.

‘There really is light at the end of the tunnel.’

Deputy Trott had been asked by students to set out housing ideas to encourage them to stay on the island, or return after university, following a report last year which showed that Guernsey had the joint-highest housing costs in western Europe.

He said he understood their concerns, partly because he had a 10-year-old child of his own who could face similar housing challenges in a few years’ time.

‘It’s the number one domestic government initiative,’ he said.

‘We are doing everything we can during the remaining 13 months of this Assembly to make sure that there are as many decisions made to get as many spades in the ground as we can, following through into the next Assembly.’

The States agreed this time last year that nearly 1,600 additional homes were needed by the end of 2027, divided almost equally between the private and social housing sectors.

But senior politicians have warned that the figure has probably increased since then, following a spike in the island’s population.

Average net inward migration had soared from about 150 people a year over the past 15 years to 600-700 in the 12 months to June 2023.

‘It is putting additional strain on our housing situation right now and new housing is coming online at a much slower rate,’ said Deputy Trott.

‘In 2023, after allowing for births and deaths, there was only one extra home for every seven additional people.’

Deputy Trott returned for a second spell as Guernsey’s senior-most politician in December, following the removal of the previous P&R in a vote of no confidence.

He told the Gpeg lunch that he had experienced ‘an intensive few months’.

‘I can honestly say this is the busiest I have ever been, including my entire previous term in the senior-most political role and my time as P&R vice-president, which included the pandemic.

‘The amount of issues we have been contending with, and their scale and intensity, has reached a new level.’